Another week, another PR crisis. This one comes by way of the Quixotic, pie-in-the-sky Silicon Valley start-up Airbnb, which allows people to rent their apartments, a bedroom or even their living room floor to complete strangers, with little to no background check of that person’s character. Think about how absurd that concept sounds.The crisis in question involved a San Francisco woman, known only as EJ, who blogged that she was the victim of a heinous property crime by a guest who arranged to stay there through Airbnb. In what is being called “#ranscackgate” (sidebar: Another “gate”? Really?), Airbnb has, perhaps not surprisingly, totally flubbed its response. Continue reading
Flipboard’s rapid ascension to the fandom of the social media and tech scene, and just as quick outright derision and speculation about its struggles to scale among some tech and media reporters/bloggers offers an interesting glimpse into what is more and more becoming an issue within the technology and media sectors: Heavily-funded start-up makes big splash with big influencers, only to suddenly realize it’s nowhere near prepared for the onslaught of actual people using its product and service. This, inevitably, creates a perception among consumers, partners, advertisers, etc. that tech media darling just isn’t quite ready for prime time.
Thus, all of that build up and hype is wasted, and it’s back to square one. Continue reading
Did you see the big social media news that broke Friday afternoon? Probably best to read up about how location-sharing site Blippy, which allows users to broadcast to their friends any and all of their credit card purchases, somehow managed to allow four users’ credit card numbers to slip through a public Google search.
This whole Blippy incident is an unbelievably epic fail, and frankly, not a good sign for the emerging, yet at times, controversial, location-sharing industry.
Here’s the explanation Blippy gave on its blog (from WSJ.com):
In a post on its blog, Blippy said the problem was “a lot less bad than it looks.” “While we take this very seriously and it is a headache for those involved (to whom we apologize and are contacting), it’s important to remember that you’re never responsible if someone uses your credit card without your permission,” the company wrote. Continue reading